Texas FFA News  
Houston Kraft Invites Members to Amplify Kindness    
Wednesday, July 13, 2022 | Author: Ava-Claire Castleman, Harmony FFA

An engaging and powerful address given by keynote speaker Houston Kraft during the first general session at the 94th Texas FFA Convention left FFA members and guests remembering the value of their influence and kindness. 

Kraft started by detailing a transformative experience on a plane where he met a woman named Helga. As they were talking, Helga shared a time when she was in need of compassion, and no one showed her warmth. 

“I’ve stopped asking myself the question, ‘Do I believe in kindness?’” Kraft said. “I started asking myself, ‘What prevents me, what prevents us, from stopping to help someone like Helga?’” 

Later in Kraft’s address, he engaged the audience by asking them to turn to their neighbor, whether they knew them or not, and perform a series of tasks like giving an authentic compliment and genuinely asking to rate their current emotions and why they feel that way.

Laughter was heard, and smiles were seen as FFA members got to know the people around them as more than just blue corduroy jackets. 

“We forget that kindness is a risk,” Kraft said. “It means to risk judgment, to risk laughter, to risk failure. Is your fight bigger than that fear?”

Kraft encountered kindness when his mother was in the hospital after being diagnosed with cancer. After all the people they met, the unwavering kindness of one nurse named Wonderful left an impression on Kraft and his mother to this day.

He encouraged the audience to think of the value and significance of an act of kindness.

“Maybe kindness is not a random act,” Kraft said. “It’s not just something we do; it is something we become.”

Reporter: Ava-Claire Castleman, Harmony FFA
Photographer: Maecy Smith, Jacksonville FFA

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